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Media Zone: Back to Basics: 5 Keys to Successful Media Management and Response

1 Jun, 2008 By: Steve Newton Response

When it comes to media strategy, one of the most important considerations is the execution of the media buy. In today's multichannel world, it's easy to forget the most basic function of a quality media buy: getting your TV or radio campaign placed in the best possible time slots on the right network or station. Too many good programs die when they're put in the wrong time periods.

Steve Newton
Steve Newton

It helps, then, to get back to the basics every now and then. Following are five of the most effective keys to a successful media plan:

1. Know Your Audience. Before you even think about a media plan, you need to have a firm grasp on your core audience. The more details you understand, the stronger your media buys will be. Clients that tell me they are trying to reach "the whole world out there" will essentially waste media dollars in markets or on media outlets that won't be effective. Research shows that only certain demographics on specific media outlets will be interested or attracted in your particular product or service. That's why knowing your audience is the No. 1 consideration.


2. Timing Is Everything. While no one knows exactly the right time to buy media, there are many tools available that will help you plan the best time to launch a new direct response spot or program. Factors are diverse and range from local area events to national holidays and historical response rates for a given timeframe. This is one area where a savvy media partner is invaluable and will be able to help you avoid common timing mistakes.

3. Look for Creative Media Options That Fit Your Goals. Ten years ago, television and radio response was much easier and less costly. Today, with scores of cable networks, video iPods, the Internet, satellite TV and radio, video E-mail blasts and a host of other media buying options, reaching your target market is more difficult than ever before. Advertisers that are wise with their media funds should be using a multimedia approach to leverage their media dollars and to reach more people. While television and radio are still effective and efficient media tools to reach a target core audience, there are many other proven outlets that must be considered and added to the media mix.

4. Added Value. Look for ways to create added value for your program. This includes unique positioning of your message or product offer. Product upsells or "Free Offer" premiums, tie-ins, cross-promotions, local events, PR campaigns and guest appearances can all bring added value to a program's effectiveness and response.

5. Seek the Best. Not all media buyers are created equal. Do your homework and evaluate the top players in the field. Develop a questionnaire that you can go through with each potential candidate to use as a yardstick that will allow you to compare your top contenders. Key topics for consideration include: relevant experience, response tracking systems, industry reputation, client service and client references.

Steve Newton is the founder and CEO of Newton Media, a full-service media planning and buying company headquartered in Virginia, with offices in Dallas. Newton can be reached at (757) 547-5400.

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